Bus Duct Monitoring in Colocation Facilities

The data center facility in this case study has evolved and is currently designed and built to operate as a modern colocation data center. New bus ducts were fitted to the facility; the data center operator pursued a retrofit bus duct temperature monitoring solution, which would increase operational efficiency and provide a continuous monitoring solution for the entire length of all bus duct sections in the data halls. 

One challenge with colocation facilities is the need to occasionally relocate server cabinets due to facility upgrades, reorganization, or space constraints. This situation can disturb the stable electrical powering arrangement of distribution bus ducts and may cause overheating. It is typical to use thermography services to check the bus duct infrastructure before, during, and after server cabinet relocation. However, manual thermography services require physical access and use a handheld instrument that may capture inconsistent temperature measurements. AP Sensing's Distributed Temperature Sensing (DTS) solution alleviates these challenges in addition to providing continuous, 24/7 temperature monitoring. 

AP Sensing collaborated with a local partner over multiple phases to deploy a distributed fiber optic sensing solution. Each phase deployed one DTS device; our specialty fiber optic sensor cable was fitted along the bus ducts using customized cable clips. 

Continuous, real-time bus duct monitoring enables early detection of hotspots or other potential issues, enabling proactive maintenance, reduced downtime, and planning of server rack relocation. DTS improves overall facility safety by reducing electrical failures or fires associated with bus duct malfunctioning and reduces maintenance costs by eliminating manual monitoring services and allowing for targeted repairs or replacements rather than a reactive intervention after a failure occurs. With real-time, remote data, facility managers can access data from any location, facilitating rapid troubleshooting and decision making.